Cotton Futures Stabilize Going into Weekend

Hog futures sank as traders questioned whether the market can maintain momentum with pigs headed to slaughter in record numbers. Cattle contracts gained. Though hog futures on Friday staged a late rebound from the session’s low point, the decline again raised questions as to whether prices can sustain October’s upswing even as the number of hogs slaughtered at U.S. processing plants set weekly records beginning in September.

December lean hogs closed 60 lower at 64.45, February fell 27 to 70.25.

Live cattle futures climbed Friday, though some contracts’ gains were muted as traders awaited signals from the Midwestern cash markets where ranchers sell animals to beef processors.

December live cattle futures gained 12 to $120, February fell 35 to $125, and November feeders dropped 70 to $156.

Grain futures dropped Friday amid gains in the U.S. dollar and the advancing fall harvest. Soybeans rose.

Corn and wheat fell for the third-consecutive session, pressured in part by a recent surge in the dollar and ongoing reports from U.S. farmers of strong corn yields. Earlier in the year, grain analysts thought the nation’s crop would suffer from late spring planting and adverse weather during the growing season, but field reports now are aligning with federal forecasts estimating the second-largest corn harvest on record. Soybean prices rebounded from losses posted on Thursday, thanks in part to optimism over export sales.

December Corn fell 1 3/4 to $3.48, December Chicago wheat slid 4 1/2 to $4.27, weighed down by a drop in Russia’s currency which encouraged farmers in the Black Sea region to sell their crops. December KC wheat fell 3 to $4.25, and November soybeans rose 4 to $9.75.

Cotton futures stabilized going into the weekend with fears of an early frost already built into the market.  December cotton gained 1 to 68.20, and March gained 5 to 68.11.

Oil prices pressed higher Friday morning, with Brent crude topping the elusive $60-a-barrel mark for the first time in more than two years. Analysts and market participants said Friday’s move higher was fueled by technical factors, with more traders piling in as prices rose. But the fundamental outlook has also shifted, with stockpiles falling and questions about the growth rate of U.S. shale output also fueling gains.  December crude gained $1.22 to finish the week at $53.86 a barrel, November gasoline gained 1 cent to close at $1.76, and November diesel gained 2 cents to $1.87 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures fell Friday as weather outlooks for November warmed, which could limit demand for the heating fuel. November natural gas fell 14 cents to $2.75.

Stocks on Wall Street climbed on Friday, including a 2 percent jump in the Nasdaq, powered by strong earnings from tech heavyweights and Amazon, along with an upbeat statement from Apple on demand for its iPhone X.  The Dow gained 33 to finish at 23,434, the Nasdaq closed at 6,701 up a whopping 144, and the S&P 500 gained 20 to 2,581.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.